"SOW THE SEEDS OF SUCCESS AND MAKE THEM GROW." Come by our Spartanburg store adjacent to the YMCA at 351 East Henry Street.!!
Operating as usual
40 years ago this weekend, the running world was exposed the amazing commentary of Larry Rawson, possibly the all time greatest TV running commentator.....
This is the first distance running event broadcast on ESPN.....it is a European style cross country race in Rochester New York .....on a course we affectionately called the “Beast of the East”.....there had been snow on the course but it had mostly melted and now it was what those up north call mud season .......”The hills are extremely steep and some coaches refer to it as dangerous”-Larry ......and the finish was at a much higher elevation than the starting line .....most everyone that ran the race had run a minute and a half to two minutes faster the week before to qualify to run this national championship...
Larry’s commentary is fantastic as he relates to the general public what real Cross-Country is all about...(it ain’t no track race)
(Btw: the guy that wins is really smart and good-looking)
youtube.com 1980 Division III Cross Country Championship from the early days of ESPN
My father always referred to it as Armistice Day....he was a young man when hostilities ceased on November 11th at 11 A.M, 1918 (11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month) ending WORLD WAR 1 that they thought was the “War To End All Wars”
At Greenville Running Company, we salute all veterans and active military personnel and always offer a military discount....
youtube.com President Reagan on the sacrifices and virtues of the Fallen.
Collegiate Sports were conceived to enhance the educational experience.....
But somehow the concept has changed to "follow the money".......
The news today that Clemson (a state supported University) has dropped their Track and Cross-Country programs because they are not profitable should make everyone think about what sports really are supposed to be....
Are they actually Professional Sports under the label of Collegiate Sports?
This interview is with Al Carius ("Cross-Country Coach Of The Century").....where he discusses the last bastion of Amateurism...and what is important...
"It is not what you get, but what you become, that helps you negotiate your way through life."
d3glorydays.com Apple – Spotify Welcome back! We’re thrilled to have Al Carius join us for this episode. It was great to hear about his personal philosophies, mentors, and what it took to build North C…
This photo is the start of the mile race from the the AAU National Track Championships in 1969.........held in super hot conditions in Miami...
BUT: Note the number of spectators.....and the T.V. Cameras mounted on the the stands...Runners such as Jim Ryun and Marty Liquori (pictured here) were household names.....most Americans understood and followed the sport......
This is the subject of much discussion among some of us that have been around the sport for a long time.... It is estimated that today there are approximately 60 million Americans who run on a fairly regular basis....
SO: Why isn't there more interest and coverage of running and track events in today's media like there used to be?.......
(This photo was recently posted by Mike Fanelli and brings this to mind)
This is a great article about the real meaning of "Team" and "Cross-Country"....
"Living The Life At North Central College"
.....For The Love Of The Sport.....
By Chris Beskind
Fifty begin the journey in August. Although only seven toe the line at the Regional and National Championships in mid-November, fifty complete the journey in mind, body and spirit.
At North Central College in Naperville, IL, we believe the team and the season are never limited. With the aid of one of the nation’s best coaching staffs, this small liberal arts school with about 1500 students fields a squad of forty to fifty men each season committed to each other and a task of self-improvement in both life and running. We love to compete, and, more importantly, we love to run.
Without scholarships or any outside motivation, we run and compete as true amateurs. We recognize that running and athletics are a part of our life, not our life’s work. The deep desire to train and compete draws athletes ranging in ability, yet connected on a deeper level and sense of purpose.
The love of the sport provided a foundation for the creation of Division III athletics and is the attitude that embodies North Central Cross Country. It’s a raw, pure approach setting externals aside to connect with the roots of sport. It’s still competition at the marrow and heart, but it’s a part of our lives, an extension of our character.
Saturday long runs through forest preserves, morning runs every day, intervals, hills, races; they are all special. But on a completely separate level is a feeling of brotherhood, a sentiment that lasts far beyond the wins and the losses, the times and the places. When a person focuses all their energy and attention on a single purpose, the results can be staggering. Yet, when an individual no longer sees his efforts as singular, but part of a greater collective group, a true feeling of team is created. The energy that teammates invest in one another breeds a bond more powerful than any group of individuals.
Regardless of performance, no one athlete is more important than another at North Central. A 17:20 5K guy receives the same attention as a 14:20 5K multi-All-American—respect is based on effort, not performance. Each contributes to the journey and the eventual outcome. Championships and awards follow naturally. The past success of the program pays tribute to this ideal, but it doesn’t come easy.
The growth of the team and the ways we come together and connect over the course of the season determine our degree of success. We take pride in our work, in the way we compete, but we realize these efforts for what they are, extensions of our love for the sport and most importantly, for our team. We enjoy every step along the way for what it is: part of the journey, not an end in itself. It’s fellowship shared between people. These experiences are as important as the miles of training.
A typical week during the season consists of intervals, hills, fartlek, a race or long run and recovery. The key is consistent effort over long periods of time—no quick fixes. The actual concepts behind our training schedule are very simple, but the results are extraordinary. Outsiders witnessing the improvements of our runners would expect complex workouts riddled with mathematical formulas and calculations. Rather, the success is found experimenting within the basic training schedule, and from the feeling of togetherness and the power of tradition.
Over the course of four years, long runs are lengthened. Runners get accustomed to longer recovery distances and, for some, weekly mileage rises up to 120 miles. We are proud of the strength foundation in which each season builds upon the previous. Patience, time and a lot of consistent hard work combine with the philosophy and lifestyle to create accomplished runners and people of good character. Pushing further and harder day after day, season after season with the same teammates by your side establishes a bond and synergy that is felt in every workout and on race day. When you have worked so hard for so long with the same crowd, a stubbornness and toughness develops that sticks with you when you feel most like breaking. Instead of feeling sorry for yourself with a mile to go, you remember the workouts at Blackwell Hill, the tough attitude, and decide to step it up a notch. You do this not only for yourself, but for those that accompany you in battle.
Our support system extends well beyond teammates to the hundreds of alumni who continue to be a part of the program. There is an unmatched sense of tradition from these previous warriors, the alumni who wore the same armor, who sweated and bled during the same workouts.
Walking the hallways of Merner Fieldhouse, glancing at the championship team pictures on the wall, you know they have experienced what you’re going through, and they continue to support you in spirit every step of the journey. It makes you hungry to carry the torch.
At no time could the bed possibly feel warmer than at 6 a.m. Every morning, no matter what excuses come to mind, we get up to run. Each athlete knows that 49 other guys are doing the same for him. We won’t let each other down. We give of ourselves and live the life the sport demands.
No one is bound to the program by an athletic scholarship, because there aren’t any. The fact that we could quit or leave or sleep in at any point—that there isn’t anything forcing us to stay—creates an unparalleled atmosphere. We want to see ourselves improve physically and in life. Camaraderie and a sense of working with others toward a greater purpose excites each of us, and we enjoy every minute of our time together. When we made the decision to come to North Central, we made a resolve to be student-athletes, to make competition a part of our life. Cross country is not about places or times or awards. This acclaim is merely supplemental. Those who believe otherwise are missing out on the deeper rewards. We still compete with all of our effort, but we realize that the journey is what we will always remember.
Throughout the season and the rest of our lives, we continually reap the benefits this lifestyle yields. The gains may not come on race day, but may manifest in other ways—perhaps in the mature character and confidence of "living the life."
It’s the Friday before the Regional Championships, and the locker room is full, minus the seven who sit in their Holiday Inn hotel rooms in Davenport, IA. The locker room empties and we gather in the field house at 2:55. No one is late. There are no coaches, no captains, just a group of runners routinely following their race day pattern, five minutes until the warm-up; the gun goes off at 3:45.
We shove our bags and spikes into our student volunteer coach’s car preparing for the National Invitational Three Mile—a tradition started by athletes. When competition whittles the varsity to seven, the rest of the team races three miles at a park for the intrinsic enjoyment and simple thrill of competing. The race keeps the connection and emotion alive between the entire team throughout the season.
Anxiously milling around the parking lot, we tighten bandannas and stretch calves on the curb. There are no plaques or medals for the top finishers today. Team scores are not tallied. Gathered sticks and dorm room clutter serve as awards. Sunglasses, old t-shirts and little league trophies are among the accolades.
Our warm-up to the park is light-hearted and we joke all the way about different teammate’s running styles or the businessmen coming home early from work in their suits and ties. "Where would you rather be?!!" we joke. Looking at each other and the colorful leaves gliding from trees—the answer is simple. We arrive at Lincoln Park, cradled between the mighty DuPage River and Meisinger Street, run our extended pick-up and work on some flexibility. “The gun’s in eighteen minutes. There are six laps around the park, a half-mile apiece, and then through the finish past the tree. Listen for your time if you want it.”
We peel off our wet, sweaty t-shirts and put on the armor—striped jerseys; worn, faded with tradition. Spikes and flats are tightened and we jog a few more strides.
There are all stripes at the park. No other uniforms, no other teams. Their seasons are over, or they are headed to their Regional championships. Our season is not over until the National Championships whether we physically compete in the race or not. We all did the work, we all paid our dues over the summer and throughout the season, and we will all complete the journey—together. Those seven at Regionals and Nationals are an extension of the fifty.
“Two minutes till the gun!” We get ourselves lined up at the starting tree. Someone’s cell phone rings. It’s the guys from the Holiday Inn. They want to hear the race unfold. “Good luck,” they say. “No regrets.”
We have had a bunch of requests to re-post this interview with
"The Marathon Running Podcast" in its entirety .......It is almost 2 hours long, but it may prove informational and entertaining as we discuss the evolution of running, running theory, physiology, biomechanics, pacing, mental training, nutrition, glycogen storage, fat metabolism, the proverbial "Marathon Wall", lifestyle, amateurism versus professionalism, running products and shoes over the last 1/2 Century......
the-marathon-running-podcast.simplecast.com Jeff Milliman shares his life story, training wisdom, and his perspective on the state of running shoes.
"Heck, I Was There"
by Phil Feisal
(Spartanburg Medical Center President)
I moved to Greenville in 1994 and quickly became a regular at Jeff Milliman's running store. (now Greenville Running Company). Before long, we had a group of runners meeting early mornings daily and Jeff joined us several of those mornings each week. As I got to know Jeff, I learned that he didn’t just sell running shoes, he understood biomechanics and energy transfer, and had set out to create a shoe that took advantage of material and structure. He would show up to our runs many mornings with his "Frankenshoes”, creations that he was constantly working on where he took the upper of a name brand shoe with the sole (including midsole) stripped away and replaced with carbon fiber/fiberglass/graphite glued to Vibram soles. He was on to something unique some 20+ years ago.
There were many challenges with materials and adhesives, but Jeff was not deterred. He was actually able to patent the concept and by 2000, he felt like he had a good formula and in February of that year, the two of us and Tommy McAfee headed to Savannah to run the Tybee Marathon….Jeff, in his homemade shoes, was going to pace both Tommy and I to a sub 3:00 effort. It was a perfect day and an ideal two loop course. We were on pace to break 3:00 hours when late in the race one of Jeff’s shoes started coming apart. Specifically, the glue was releasing from the upper such that the sole was flapping. Jeff stopped, tore off part of both soles and continued running on just the carbon fiber. I began to fall off the pace and found myself following little pieces of carbon material (like a popcorn trail) to the finish. Tommy and Jeff finished in 2:59…I was 3:01. Eventually he was able to perfect the adhesives, epoxies, etc. so that didn't happen, but it certainly made for a memorable experience.
I read all the press now about the new miracle carbon fiber running shoes and realize that I was part of something much bigger during those early morning runs...
Title Of Patent:
STRUCTURAL REINFORCEMENT FOR USE IN A SHOE SOLE
A structural reinforcement which is advantageously used, for example, as part of a shoe sole. The structural reinforcement provides and/or enhances spring-like characteristics of the member it is reinforcing, propels and encourages the natural foot strike of the user to lengthen the user's stride, increases the stride speed, and stabilizes the user's foot to prevent permanent compression of the midsole as a result of creep. The gridwork is impregnated throughout with a fully cured B-stage thermosettable resin. The gridwork includes at least one continuous filament selected from the group consisting of fiberglass, carbon fiber, and aramid.
“Stand By Me”
This time that we are now in has reminded me of one of my all-time favorite movies from 35 years ago...(but set in a time 60 years ago)
A simpler time when friendships were easy, bonds were strong, and affectionate arm punches were plentiful....and you always stood up for your buddies...
Maybe there will be a new normal .....our society will become closer, more friendly, not so divisive and we will revisit these times....
Last line of the movie:
“I Never Had Any Friends Later On Like the Ones I Had When I Was Twelve.....Jesus, Does Anyone?”
(If you find time; I highly suggest you watch this movie)
As a youth, my friends and I walked the RR tracks all the time (especially to fishing & swimming holes), just like these boys did in the movie...Railroad Tracks always went in straight lines....Later on, I would run the tracks for 100’s of miles in Florida...there was almost always an access trail for RR maintenance workers.....
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